The Dreaded Second Year: A Reflection

29 Jul

This time last year, I was a bright-eyed student who had just finished his first year of college and was ready to begin his second. I was excited about my new classes and new job, but the reason I was most excited about sophomore year was that I was one step closer to graduating, one step closer to accomplishing dreams. I thought I understood being in college, I thought I understood being an adult. I was wrong.

I had a really great freshman year. I lived in on campus in Pima Hall, and had the freedom to decide what to do with my own schedule. I had a great roommate; he was funny and organized. I considered my hall-mates to be some of my best friends – I still do. I finished off Freshman year with a great GPA, a fun new job, a fun old job, and many new friends/acquaintances. College was fun. College made me feel grown up.

Then sophomore year came. And things changed, big time.

The major difference between my freshman and sophomore year at the UA was that my second year of college lacked the many social experiences that were abundant during my first year. I lived back at home during my sophomore year and really struggled to see college not just as school but as an entire experience. Looking back at sophomore year, I think I was mostly unhappy with it because I thought that I lost my groove, my mojo. Classes were harder. And to be honest, I started caring less. I was in a funk for most of the entire year, and couldn’t get out of it. My GPA took a hit. My confidence took a hit.

I started doubting my major, my choices, my dreams.

I realized that college was a privilege. I came to college to follow my dreams and aspirations in MY life, not someone else’s.

I realized that social interaction with people who care about you is extremely important. I needed friends, co-workers, family. And I loved having them.

All in all, for you reading this, I would say to really consider finding the core group of people that will help you transition comfortably to your second year of college. Find and keep people who are going to positively encourage you to achieve higher standards and goals. Things are going to be different the second time around, but exciting nonetheless. Have fun and good luck!

-Julian

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